NEW OWNER HELP - 90 Amigo - 4WD Shift Boot & Misc ???

Hi... I told my husband I wanted an older 4wd jeep-like truck that I could afford to pay cash for and take to the beach and not worry about getting a little sand, saltwater, etc. in. Jeeps themselves were out of
my price range. Yesterday, he bought me a 90 Isuzu Amigo. He said the new michelins and new alpine stereo system cost more than he paid for the whole package. It's in relatively good condition for being 15-16 years old...doesn't have much body damage at all although it does have maybe 150-200 pencil lead size rust spots over the entire vehicle. It has about 145,000 miles on it and cleaned up ok with a lot of MY elbow grease and various cleaners (I got it today, and my first reaction was YUCK!! full of dog hair, dirt, cigarette ashes/ tar & nicotine, dirt, you know the drill - I made HIM drive it the 45 miles home!) One of the problems I encountered though when cleaning it is that the shift boot (the vinyl dust cover over the gear shifts) is really crumbling - the underneath fabric is intact, but the vinyl surface is crumbling and creating black flea sized dust everywhere, anytime I move the shifter... So... I started looking online for vinyl or leather boots and couldn't find one that fit the dual shift that I have (regular tall shifter on the left, shorter 4wd shifter on the right)... Does anyone know what the real name of this cover is, a part number, and/or where I might find one??? Will I have to disassemble the existing one and use it as a pattern to make my own (yes, I can sew)
Next... the amigo shifts pretty nicely, considering it's been a while since I drove a 5-speed truck...(I drove it AFTER I cleaned it!) but it seems to HAVE to get to 3rd pretty quickly... is this normal? It's not pegging out, but it sure sounds like it's winding up pretty fast and I've always shifted by ear, with the tach in my peripheral vision...
The amigo came with a hard top... and I'm thinking about getting a soft top... should I? I'm only 5'3 and weigh 120lbs.. I think a soft top would work better for me on beach days. Are there inherent problems with soft tops? I used to have a cutlass convertible that leaked like a sieve and don't want a repeat of that experience. Any advice?
Speaking of leaking... the sunroof (flips up) leaks. Do I have to replace the whole thing or can the gasket be replaced? Can I do it myself?
My husband usually doesn't listen to me when I tell him about strange new noises, different driving behavior, etc. in my cars, so until he drives my vehicles and "discovers" the problem himself, I usually don't get things fixed on my vehicles (his ego would be destroyed if I took the cars to the dealer/mechanic without his prior approval) Anyway, I've read some of the issues with the 90 Amigo on auto.consumerguide.com but would still like to know from owners things to look out for, listen for, notice in the way the vehicle handles, etc.
Anyone know where I can get interior door handles? I find lots of exterior ones online, but none interior.
There's a good deal of rust on the black vent cover that sits between the hood and the windshield. I saw this stuff in WalMart tonight called rust converter... says it turns rust into black primer, ready to sand and finish... Anyone used this and does it work???
Sorry about the run-on post... but like I said in the subject, I need HELP!!
Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!!
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Not sure how some of the parts compare, but dad has a 1990 Trooper with the 2.8 v6 and a 5-speed. I'm guessing your amigo is the 4-cylinder? I've noticed driving his that you do tend to jump up gears pretty quickly. I think to some degree the Troopers are designed to lug and tow and go slowly as opposed to flying down the highway - probably similar for the Amigo. You'll probably appreciate that when you're slugging around in the sand. :-)
I'm not sure what exactly happened to his shifter boot, but I know it was letting in cold air in the winter time. He had a new one on his Christmas list, so I found him one at St. Charles Isuzu (any local Isuzu dealer should be able to get you one thru their parts department). Go to http://isuzu.stcharlesauto.com/ and look for their parts department. If you call them and say you found them on the internet, they'll give you a discount...I forget the details, but it's on their web site. I didn't see him put the part in, but sounded like it was a bit of a bear to get replaced. That's assuming it's at all the same, but I'm guessing it might be at least similar...
Unfortunately I can't offer much help on your other questions...
Good luck!
Wesley

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Thanks! I'll definitely look into the St. Charles Auto!!
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Second and third are quite close together so it will pick up quickly esspecialy if this a a v6 model The vinyl gearbox boot could be got from the local gm dealer but would be a lot cheaper to make your own They dont have to be perfect to look good and you get to chose the colour The sunroof seal can be replaced but its probably easyer to let a windscreen glass shop do this for you There are a few tricks of the trade As for the hard/soft top. Here in New Zealand we get the Isuzu Mu which is the same vehical but assembled in Japan where as the Amigo is assembled in America. On ours the roof is not removable although I have heard this is possible on the Amigo. The rust converter you mention is good stuff and there are several brands of the same thing snipped-for-privacy@cris.com wrote in

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